Quintet for piano and strings, Op. 61
In these few lines the composer tried to describe the Quintet, which, as he himself has noted, stemmed from the “Grand Inquisitor” section of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.
The composition of the work, commissioned by the Athens Concert Hall Organisation, began on November 25, 1998, and the work was completed on February 18, 2001.
Despite the work’s relation to the “Grand Inquisitor”, both of its movements obviously have nothing in common with the so-called “programme music”. However, one could not deny their descriptive nature, especially as regards the “intense existential reflection”, which, particularly in the first movement, pushes dialogue towards the borders of explosive conflict. The inner tension is so great, not only during the obvious, loud passages, but also in the totally quiet ones, that the listener immediately experiences the real dimensions of this “existential” dialogue. One might have the impression that this dialogue takes place between the piano and strings; this superficial impression, a result of the difference in tone-colour between the instruments, would be far from the truth. The responsibility of formulating and of defending those positions, which cause the conflict and uphold the dialogue, is equally divided among all five interpreters, who, as a result, collectively give voice to the workings of a common mind. In our opinion, the important thing about the Quintet is not the search for the elements that would verify the composer’s words in the few lines referred to above. The particular power of this work lies in the context that houses the process of this dialogue; it is so profound, so wisely “staged”, that it assumes the function of another participant in the conversation. We would dare to claim that the great achievement of this work is not the musical rendering of a dialogue which leads to a “harsh affirmation of life”, but the description of the sum of emotions generated by space, time, and all kinds of concurrent, yet independent, stimuli, which contribute to a solution, usually provisional, to all philosophical anxieties. A Quintet that resembles a slice of life cut off, for our sake, from the thoughts of a composer, Yorgo Sicilianos.
- Κέντρο Ελληνικής Μουσικής